NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) may announce 1,300 layoffs and job cuts when the company discloses Q4 2013 results on May 21. Details about the alleged layoffs apparently surfaced in a Piper Jaffray note to clients, according to The Register.

NetApp isn't talking ahead of the earnings announcement. But Chief Marketing Officer Julie Parrish -- formerly the company's channel chief -- will need to get ahead of this story in the days and weeks to come.

Challenges and Opportunities

Conventional wisdom says NetApp's storage solutions are getting squeezed from (A) cloud storage and (B) converged providers like HP, and the Cisco-EMC-VMware trifecta called VCE.

NetApp has successfully extended its on-premises storage to support third-party public clouds like Amazon Web Services. Plus, NetApp has a close working relationship with Cisco Systems (involving FlexPod). 

But R.W. Baird cut NetApp shares to "sell" on May 20, Barron's reported, claiming the company faces growing competition from EMC and the need to shift more aggressively to Flash memory.

Remain Calm

What's a channel partner to do? First, there's no need for panic. The NetApp layoffs are rumors as of this writing. And having Parrish -- a channel advocate -- in NetApp's C-suite is a key benefit during challenging times like this.

The VAR Guy will return with more analysis once NetApp announces quarterly earnings.